Pushing ourselves beyond our own personal ‘comfort zones’, even just a small amount each time, is a great way to grow our fitness and flexibility. So, with that in mind, I will be introducing a new ‘slant’ to training over the next few weeks for those of you who are feeling ‘adventurous’.
You might find us doing some of your usual moves (shoulder presses, squats, reverse lunges, press ups etc.), but with an added extra which will enhance your sessions and get you used to a little ‘Balance Training’. It’s low-impact and can help us improve proprioception (positioning and stability of joints) by challenging our balance while exercising.
Balance deteriorates as we age and muscular neurological pathways decay so balance training can be beneficial for life. A ‘Balance Trainer’ is a rubber dome (like one half of an over-sized basketball) with a rigid platform which you use to balance on while exercising. It sounds weird but, used properly under supervision, it has been proven to help create balance in your body, enhance neuromuscular coordination (improving neural pathways between the brain and the body) and promote stability through ‘educating’ your core.
Balance training even helps improve the brain’s circulation, memory, coordination and balance. Because you are working harder keeping your balance, it also uses more calories to perform even the most basic exercises. And it’s surprising how much balance we need to employ in a day of normal activity, let alone in fitness sessions. Standing up from a sitting position, climbing or descending stairs, carrying shopping bags, turning around, getting into the bath etc. all require stability to avoid toppling over – it may seem like overstating its importance in connection with simple everyday movements, but the older you get, the more you notice the significance of proper balance.
So say “Hello” to balance training as it becomes part of our workouts!